According to the FBI Unified Crime Report for 2007, there were 383 murders in the city of Detroit

in that year. The total population of Detroit in 2007 was just over 860,000. In Minneapolis, a city about one-half of the population of Detroit, the number of murders in 2007 was 47. This means that the per-capita murder rate in Detroit in 2007 was about 4.4 in ten thousand, while in Minneapolis it was only about 1.2 in ten thousand. In the following year, Detroit’s incidents of murders decreased to 339. While this may seem like a positive sign, it merely reflects an overall drop in violent crimes across the nation. (Hendron, 2009) The 339 murders over a population under 900,000 make Detroit the deadliest metropolitan area in the United States. Additionally, Police officials in Detroit had misreported overall 2008 murder figures intentionally to avoid this distinction. (Hendron, 2009) Minneapolis, in comparison, saw their murders drop from forty-seven to thirty-eight in 2008. (Kohler, 2009)This means that Detroit’s murder rate over these two years dropped 11%, while in Minneapolis, the rate dropped nearly 20%. Given the difference between the rates of homicide in two Midwestern cities, adjusted for total population, the question as to the causes of the cities’ different rates becomes salient. One must explore the possibilities by examining the causes of higher homicide rates in general in order to answer this question. One theory is that homicide rates are inversely linked to the availability of affordable housing in the region. (Jerelyn, 2003) This Theory has some support in the observation that new York’s homicide rate dropped significantly after the development of housing projects, while in Chicago, where no such development occurred, rates remained steady. (Jerelyn, 2003) Looking at Minneapolis and Detroit, this theory seems to make some sense. Minneapolis has made a

has decreased across the board. including homicide. given the number of homicides that are a result of attempts at theft of property. that the higher the rate of poverty. (Jerelyn. poverty cannot be the entire answer to the issue. Critics of this viewpoint point out those neighboring states such as Maine and Vermont have virtually no gun control laws. There does not seem to be a single factor that accounts for the disparity between the rates of murder in these two cities. Recent economic trends have indicated an increase in the poverty level not only in Detroit. yet maintain a comparably low rate of homicide. . Despite this trend. Politicians in Massachusetts point to tough gun laws to account for their relatively low homicide rates. but across the nation. people kill people. Detroit’s poverty rate is significantly higher than that of Minneapolis. this argument does not bear up to the facts. whereas Detroit’s efforts have been sporadic and less successful. it would appear that the guns. While likely to be a contributing factor. at least.concerted. It would appear that there is some truth to the old saying “guns don’t kill people. While logical. the incidence of violent crimes. city-wide effort to build and maintain affordable housing in the city. overall poverty and unemployment rates. Logic would indicate. help kill people. Another theory that has a number of supporters is the notion that lax rules on gun control cause higher rates of homicide. but these factors do not appear to paint a complete picture. 2003) Overall poverty may be an additional consideration. the higher the homicide rate. Contributing factors appear to include affordable housing.” Given the fact that about 50% of homicides are committed with guns.

(2009.talkleft. June 19th ) U.go. Retrieved August 24th.com/2009/07/10/thoughts-on-minneapolis-homicide-rate-reporting/ . July 8th) Thoughts on Minneapolis Homicide Rate Reporting.Work Cited Hendron. Retrieved August 24th. J. Retrieved August 24th. 'Murder Capital' a Tricky Figure.com/US/story?id=7884362&page=1 Jerelyn (2003.S.thedeets. E.com/story/2003/06/01/107/64240 Kohler. 2009 from ABC News website: http://abcnews. 2009 from The Deets website: http://www. (2009. 2009 from Talk Left website: http://www. June 1st) Key to Reducing the Murder Rate.

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